On January 9, a sabotage attack targeted the government-held al-Kharata oil filed in the southwestern countryside of Syria’s Deir Ezzor.
The saboteurs destroyed a number of pipelines in the oil field before retreating. The material losses were significant. However, no casualties were reported.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights speculated that the sabotage attack was carried out by ISIS. The terrorist group’s cells are known to be active in the southwestern Deir Ezzor countryside.
A few hours after the sabotage attack, a series of 20 Russian airstrikes hit hideouts of ISIS near the town of al-Sukhnah in the eastern Homs countryside, the town of al-Resafa in the southern countryside of Raqqa and the town of al-Sholah in the western Deir Ezzor countryside. The airstrikes may have been a response to the attack.
This would not be ISIS’ first attack on the al-Kharata oil field. On December 2, the group’s cells ambushed a bus that was carrying workers from al-Kharata oil field. Ten workers were killed in the terrorist attack.
ISIS insurgency in central Syria will not likely end anytime soon. The terrorist group appears to be planning to expand its operations in the region this year.